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What Upgrades Increase Home Value? 9 Improvements That Buyers Love

If you’re planning some renovation projects, it’s important to know what upgrades can increase the value of your home (even if you aren’t selling your home in the near future). 

Homes have been at the center of a massive change since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic began, changing the way everyone shops for their next home. Home offices and outdoor spaces are extremely coveted features now more than ever. This list of home improvements that add value takes these recent trends into account & helps you decide where to invest more into your home. 

Make the home more spacious

A 2020 survey of top HomeLight agents found that 44% cited the “need for more space” as the no. 1 moving motivator, with 31% citing the desire for more private outdoor space as another top motivation.

1 – Convert or add a home office

In a Fall 2021 survey by HomeLight, 60% of top real estate agents cited a home office as a top priority for buyers in their market, representing a higher percentage of respondents than any other home feature or quality on the list.

Dedicating a space to a home office is likely going to be a good investment for your home. Mid-2020 data from HomeLight indicates that a home office adds over $10,000 in resale value, and that number might be even higher now as Americans have settled into remote work routines. 

2 – Finish your basement

An unfinished basement may be great for storage, but it can also mean missing out on living space for future buyers to enjoy – whether it’s for a home office or space for entertaining. In fact, finishing a basement of 400 to 1,500 square feet has a potential ROI of up to 75%, according to HomeAdvisor. 

3 – Open up the floor plan

While people need dedicated space to work, they still want to enjoy family time and be able to easily entertain in their homes. 

For its report What Home Buyers Really Want, 2021 Edition, NAHB surveyed 3,247 recent and prospective home buyers of various ages, incomes, geographic areas, and racial and ethnic compositions. NAHB’s survey shows that 85% of buyers want an open layout between the kitchen and dining room; 79% favor an open arrangement between the family room and the kitchen, and 70% like an open layout between the family room and the dining room. Consult with a contractor to see if opening up your floor plan is possible.

Enhancing the curb appeal

Curb appeal can entice buyers before they ever enter your home. In fact, a 2021 survey of HomeLight’s top agents found that on average, buyers will pay 7% more for a house with great curb appeal compared to one with a neglected exterior.

4 – Replace an outdated or dysfunctional garage door

If your garage door is looking dingy or if it’s making strange noises, a new garage door is likely to be worth the investment. A new garage door can cost an average of $1,200, but it can add an average of $2,797 in resale value.

5 – Touch up or redo your exterior finish

Simply touching up any flaking or chipped paint on your home’s exterior can make a huge difference. Pressure washing the exterior to remove dirt and mold can also give the home a fresh look.

Enhancing outdoor living

Outdoor living areas rank third on the list of today’s homebuyer priorities, according to a Fall 2021 survey of top agents in the HomeLight network, behind only a home office and great school district.

6 – Add a deck or patio

A deck or patio is a common staple of a backyard living area. A deck can add over $7,000 in resale value on average, so it’s likely that you can break even or see a positive ROI on this project.

Add style for less

7 – Update fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms

New cabinet hardware & new faucets give kitchens and bathrooms a modern, cohesive look. And, it’s an inexpensive upgrade that can have a big impact on buyers. 

8 – Paint walls in a neutral palette

Neutral wall colors make for a good palette for resale because buyers can easily imagine their belongings in the space. It can also help your home look its best in online photos and listings. 

Reduce maintenance hassles

If your house is 10-15 years old, there are some big ticket items that buyers might have to repair or replace in the next few years (and that could steer them away from your home). 

9 – Replace an aging HVAC unit 

Buyers often ask when the HVAC system was installed and if it has been properly maintained.  The average HVAC replacement costs about $7,000 – and that includes a new unit, installation, removal, and disposal. 

Ready to get started in the selling process?

When navigating a home sale, it’s important to rely on the help of a trusted real estate agent. Team Melton has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started on selling your home!

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